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Mar 10, 2014 08:47 AM

EMERGENCY: Downtown Manhattan restaurant recommendation??

Dear Chowhound:

I need to find a restaurant to take my wife to for her 40th birthday (dinner, just the two of us). Can you help me figure out where to go? I'm overwhelmed with options. Here's my criteria:

• Should be in downtown Manhattan (East/West Village, LES, Tribeca, etc.)

• Should have great atmosphere (and, obviously, awesome food)

• Can be expensive (but preferably not break-the-bank, Jean-Georges-expensive)

• Above all, it should be a really special/memorable place, not just another pretty-good, pretty-fancy restaurant

Any suggestions you have would be deeply appreciated!


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  1. Maybe too expensive but here goes:
    Marc Forgione

    1 Reply
    1. I'm assuming this is for Dinner?

      My first recommendations would be:
      Annisa (West Village)
      Tocqueville (Union Square)
      NoMad (Flatiron/Gramercy)
      Casa Mono (Flatiron)

      Annisa and Tocqueville are slightly more refined in terms of atmosphere, NoMad and Casa Mono less so.

      2 Replies
        1. re: kokoro

          Casa Mono is much more casual. NoMad is still fairly nice.

        2. When is this dinner? Are you willing to eat early or late? What day of the week?

          So less than $100pp before tax, tip, alcohol, is this correct?

          By downtown you mean south of 14th?

          1 Reply
          1. re: kathryn

            Dinner date: Saturday the 22nd. Time is flexible, though earlier side is better.

            Your $$ sounds correct, yes.

            And, yes, 14th St and below. (Though this is kind of arbitrary. We'd go further uptown if there's some perfect place. I just didn't want to end up in Midtown....)


          2. In addition to Atera and Bouley, for downtown (Tribeca), I highly recommend Jungsik. The "choice" menu (a la carte) should not be too expensive. If Atera and Bouley are in budget, the "tasting" menu at Jungsik is wonderful too.

            1. I second Bouley, it is a very romantic restaurant, I think she will love it.